West Marine Pacific Cup

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The Pacific Cup (formerly the "West Marine Pacific Cup") is a yacht race from San Francisco, California to Kaneohe, Hawaii on the island of Oahu. The enjoyable exercise in yacht racing is run in even-numbered years by the Pacific Cup Yacht Club. While billed as "The Fun Race to Hawaii," this race take preparation seriously and provides a number of seminars and resources to help sailors and crew find safety and success; the level of competition rises each year as well—and yet, the FUN factor remains.

The race has run for over 30 years with hundreds of boats from 24-foot (7.3 m) doublehanders to 140-foot spectaculars, and innumerable family efforts, avid racers, and "sail of a lifetime" efforts in between having sailed the 2,070-nautical-mile (3,830 km) course.

The first start for 2016 occurred on July 11 at the starting line off the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco Bay. 64 entrants participated in the 2016 race.

Manouch Moshayedi’s 100' super maxi Rio 100 set a new Pacific Cup Fastest Passage record on July 20, 2016 with an elapsed time of 5 days, 2 hours, 41 minutes and 13 seconds; the previous record was set in 2004 by Robert Miller's 139' Mari Cha IV with an elapsed time of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes and 10 seconds.

How To Participate[edit]


The Pacific Cup Yacht Club has all the forms necessary to enter the race available on-line. A competitor can do the bulk of their entry process over the web, only mailing in a signed entry form and a check.


The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions (get current from PCYC) contain the equipment and other requirements for the boat; these start with the ISAF Special Regulations for Category 1 races, as modified by the U.S. Prescriptions; the NOR and SI's make some modest changes to the regulations in view of the nature of the race.


Getting ready for the race is an effort of several months at a minimum. Typical preparation budgets, from entry fee to post-arrival rum, run from 20 to 60 thousand dollars and up.

With on-water times from five to seventeen days, twenty-four hours a day, this is the equivalent of running a hundred round-the-buoys races back to back. Reliability, flexibility, and spare parts are the keys to a successful preparation.

The best, and classic, reference for the aspiring Pacific Racer is Jim and Sue Corenman's Pacific Cup Handbook (available from West Marine).

The PCYC provides a collection of race tips, called Knowledge Base including many useful articles.